We hold over 200,000 items in our rich and varied collections that relate to historical and cultural life in the city of Edinburgh.

‘Recognised’ status is awarded by the Scottish Government to collections of National Significance. recognised-(1).gif

The following collections have been Recognised:


  • the entire collection of the Museum of Childhood

  • the Scottish Art collection at the City Art Centre

  • the decorative art collection at the Museum of Edinburgh

  • the Robert Burns collection at the Writers’ Museum (in partnership with other Burns collections)


We have developed our website so that you can find out more about our collections and see some of their highlights.

John Duncan Fergusson, The Blue Hat John Duncan Fergusson, The Blue Hat
Musical toys at the Museum of Childhood Musical toys at the Museum of Childhood

Art Collections

The art collections consist of  the Fine Art collection of paintings, photographs and sculpture and the
Decorative Art collection of items given beauty by skillful designers and craftsmen.

History Collections

The History collections tell the story of Edinburgh from earliest times to the present day. They include the Museum of Childhood and Archaeology collections.

Capital Collections

See wonderful examples of our collections on Capital Collections, along with a wealth of images relating to the historical and cultural life of Edinburgh, Scotland and the Scots.

Museum Collections Centre

The Museum Collections Centre opened in 2004 to store Archaeology, Social History, Childhood and Decorative Art Collections not currently on display in our museums. The Centre is open for group and individual visits. Strictly for the curious.